October 6, 2017
The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Thursday approved more than $40 million in funding for active transportation projects in the six-county region.
The funding, part of the $100 million a year being directed specifically to active transportation across California as part of Senate Bill 1, provides another major boost to local efforts to increase safety and access for people walking and biking. The SB1 funding nearly doubles the amount available for active transportation investments, and its quick disbursement will allow projects originally scheduled to start as late as 2021 to commence construction later this year.
Under the plan approved Thursday by SCAG’s Regional Council, $38.6 million will go to implement active transportation projects in the six counties during the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 fiscal years. An additional $1.8 million will be used to help fund the planning of new projects.
“Active transportation is an essential element of our region’s long-term mobility plans. Providing safe options for walking and biking is critical to the success of our growing transit network and fundamental to the operations of our increasingly integrated transportation system,” said Margaret Finlay, Mayor of Duarte and President of SCAG.
Under SCAG’s 2016-2040 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy, approved last year, the six-county region plans to invest $12.9 billion in active transportation projects during that period. About a third of this investment, or $4.5 billion, is expected to be returned to the region through health savings associated with a reduction in chronic diseases resulting from more people walking and biking.
SCAG also recently extended its Go Human regional marketing, education and outreach campaign in an effort to encourage more walking and bicycling and greater awareness of pedestrian and bicycling safety in a region of more than 18 million people.
“With the help of initiatives such as Go Human, Southern California has quickly become a national model for active transportation advocacy and implementation,” said Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director of SCAG. “The kinds of programs approved for funding today are significantly improving the quality of life for communities and residents throughout our six-county region.”
Ten projects were approved for planning funds:
- City of San Gabriel Safe Routes to School Master Plan ($200,000).
- La Puente Safe Routes to School Master Plan ($200,000).
- Hermosa Beach Safety and Traffic Calming Demonstration Project ($179,655).
- Beverly Hills Bicycle-Pedestrian Awareness Program ($141,000).
- Buena Park Go Human Event: Explore Beach Boulevard ($200,000).
- Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians Active Transportation Plan ($162,650).
- Palm Springs Citywide Pedestrian and Safe Routes to School Plan ($200,000).
- Montclair Active Transportation Plan ($200,000).
- San Bernardino Active Transportation Plan ($200,000).
- Fullerton Downtown Complete Streets Plan ($150,000).
SB1, signed into law earlier this year, will generate more than $5 billion a year in much-needed transportation improvement funding through increases in gasoline taxes and vehicle registration fees.